Yes we can, and yes we did
We decided to sell our property this summer. As a combination of an experiment to see just how effective the advertising in the digital The McLeod River Post was and not wanting to see our property advertised in another publication we set out to sell by owner.
We had bought the property through a sale by owner process a few years ago and had the paperwork on file and with the help of a very good local lawyer we were pretty confident in our ability to see a sale through.
We’ve moved around a lot, too much some might may say, including going back and forth across the pond to and from the UK three times so far. We like to think that we are effective even to go as far good at getting a property ready for sale.
With a target of putting the property on the market by the end of July we set out to clear up and clear out, basically decluttering. It we hadn’t used something for years. Why did we need to keep it? What had a value we sold if we could everything else was recycled or trashed. We know from long experience that a cluttered house does not show well and leads potential buyers to thinking there’s not enough storage.
There was also a matter of tidying up the décor. Painting walls is not expensive and revitalises a room. We also went around and did those niggly jobs that you just don’t get around to. Minor fixes that take more time than money. We applied the same theory to the yard and outbuildings. Clearing up and clearing out.
By the third week of July following a deep clean and a final declutter we reckoned we were ready to go on the market.
The first thing we had to set was the price. It had to be a little above what we would accept and realistic with other properties that were on the market around us and what a potential lender would lend against for a potential buyer. If anything we set the price a little on the low side compared to competing properties. Yes, you can set a higher price and then drop it but we know from experience that those first few weeks when your property goes on the market are the best for attracting interest. If the price is too high buyers could discount our property and look at another instead.
The other thing we think about setting a high price is that yes, you may have buyers interested but they’ll notice the price dropping and wait for it to go further. This process could drag on for months, sometimes years, not good.
Next marketing. We had the advantage of owning our own digital newspaper so it was good photos and a good, in this case, full page ad in the The McLeod River Post. The ad went in every issue from the last week of July. We also designed the ad so it would fit the requirements of Facebook and we spent money on boosting it. Not content with that we also advertised on Kijiji and put the Facebook ad on various selling groups around the region. A for sale by owner sign bought from the hardware store and placed in a prominent place at the end of the drive completed our marketing efforts.
One of the most difficult things for a property seller is keeping the place tidy and ready for showings. Even more difficult when you have pets, kids and are trying to run a business and live your life. It’s stressful for all of the family to have to live like that.
While many people like pets, many don’t. As far as humanly possible we kept the pets away when we had a viewing. We also think it’s a good idea to have your property looking like the pictures that you’re marketing with or a buyer could become confused, even disappointed.
Some viewers give you plenty of notice before they come around, some virtually none. We reckon we could be ready in under 20 minutes. Some viewers will drive you crazy and you just have to smile and take it as they cheerfully announce after going through all your cupboards for hours that they’re nowhere near ready to buy but are just looking.
We were very pleased with the response to our ads. One viewing came from Kijiji, three from Facebook ads in other groups and five (including the buyer and standbys) through the newspaper. At one point our Facebook reach for the newspaper ads exceeded 6,000 for nearly three weeks.
If you are going to use Facebook then we don’t think that simply posting for free cuts it. Be prepared to spend a little cash and boost those ads. In all including boosting on Facebook and Kijiji if we had bought our newspaper space we reckon it would have cost a little under $1,000 for our marketing.
To sum up we’ve accepted an offer, with two others waiting in the wings should anything go wrong, and we will be closing soon. It’s not easy but yes we can, and yes we did.
In all including boosting on Facebook and Kijiji if we had bought our newspaper space we reckon it would have cost a little under $1,000 for our marketing.”
From listing to completion in just under 90 days.